Smorgasbord Book Promotion – Air Your Reviews – Sandra J. Jackson, Jan Sikes and John W. Howell


Welcome to the first of the review posts this week and the first author celebrating is Sandra J. Jackson with a new review for Promised Souls.

About the book

Just as Krista’s summer plans are finalized, she is suddenly plagued by strange dreams and intense feelings of déjà vu. Feeling as though she’s losing her mind, she visits a psychic medium, only to feel more confused. When Krista arrives in England, her dreams persist, and she finds herself at the doorstep of another psychic; she needs clarity. Finally, the words she was afraid to say out loud, are spoken. Now Krista has to figure out what it all means. Promised Soul is the story of the past, the present, and the future of two souls that have been bound together by eternal and transcending love.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

Fantastic! on November 9, 2017

I so did not want this story to end! What a conflict I went through while reading this, I was a mad woman obsessed with finding it what happened next and at the same time I didn’t want it to be over. Ever!

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Promised-Soul-Sandra-J-Jackson-ebook/dp/B00UY0PVSC

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Promised-Soul-Sandra-J-Jackson-ebook/dp/B00UY0PVSC

Also by Sandra J. Jackson

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Sandra-J.-Jackson/e/B00UZJO5DY

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sandra-J.-Jackson/e/B00UZJO5DY

Read many more reviews and follow Sandra on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13681910.Sandra_J_Jackson

Connect to Sandra via her website: http://www.sandrajjackson.com

The next review is for Jan Sikes and the fourth book in her series that follows the life of Texas Musician Luke Stone.  Based on the compelling true story of Rick and Jan Stone.

About Til Death Do Us Part

Veteran Texas musician, Luke Stone, has cheated death more times then he cares to remember. He’s been everything from a simple farm boy to a rowdy roughneck, a singing star to a convict and finally a husband and father whose goals consisted of building a home and raising a family…which he did. Now, with a chance for a second music career, he knows the sand in his hourglass is running thin.

His anchor in life and true love, Darlina, stands at his side determined to help make the dream a reality. But, his aging body is sabotaging every effort and the only thing that keeps him going is sheer will power and the love he has for Darlina. When faced with being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, Luke draws on every resource to continue to function and contribute to their home and to society.

This is a story of inspiration, endurance and most of all undying love. When Luke and Darlina face life-altering situations that would destroy a lesser man and woman, they draw on each other’s strength and determination to face them. Will fate allow Luke to sing his last song?

A recent review for the book

Highly Recommend! on October 30, 2017

This is the final book in the fictionalized true-story of Luke and Darlina Stone. The story continues where it left off in “Home at Last” for Luke and Darlina. The remarkable journey of this couple comes full circle when music reenters their lives. I loved that Darlina (and their daughter) joined Luke on stage. It was beautiful to read the process of this couple creating music together. I felt every emotion reading “’Til Death Do Us Part”, especially knowing it’s the real story of the author– and it was the last book. I was heartbroken watching the decline of Luke’s health, but was amazed, again, at how strong their love was. When I hear an owl hoot at night it will always remind me of this couple’s unwavering love. A beautifully written series I highly recommend.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Til-Death-Do-Us-Part/dp/0990617947

and at Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Til-Death-Do-Us-Part/dp/0990617947

Also by Jan Sikes

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

And find more reviews and follow Jan on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

Connect to Jan via her website: https://www.jansikes.com/

Another excellent review for the recent release by John W. Howell… Circumstances of Childhood.

About Circumstances of Childhood.

When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

If you enjoy stories of riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.

One of the recent reviews

Impeccable! on October 28, 2017

For me, this book is impeccable on a number of fronts… First and foremost, John Howell knows how to reach a reader’s emotions, how to build a character with whom one can really identify, how to recognize on occasion some parts of yourself, how to bring smiles, how to bring tears; Mr. Howell enlivens the pages of this book with events that make one believe he is actually re-living some of his own life.

I liked everything about this book, the football, the friendship, the treatment of death of someone close, the alleged business illegality, the blackmail… I took a break from reading a book of titillating short stories (review coming) and started “Circumstances of Childhood’ — long and short of it, I could not stop reading until late in the night (plus, I’m a slow reader because I love words and how they’re put together). I’m thinking the book touched some parts of my life, and, that made it all the more enjoyable for me… Treat yourself to a great read!

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Circumstances-Childhood-John-W-Howell-ebook/dp/B075SKWHCR

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Circumstances-Childhood-John-W-Howell-ebook/dp/B075SKWHCR/

Also by John W. Howell.

Buy all of the John Cannon Series and find our more about John W. Howell: https://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C

Read more reviews and follow John on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Connect to John via his website: http://www.johnhowell.com

Thank you for helping celebrate these reviews for such talented writers. Please spread the news. Thanks Sally

 

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The Medicine Woman’s Treasure Chest – My annual reminder – Before you Indulge..think Milk Thistle


For some of you it is Thanksgiving this week which is a wonderful opportunity to meet with family and friends and of course over indulge. This celebration kicks off the festive season and from the first week in December there will be Christmas parties at every opportunity and good intentions fly out the window as the sausages on sticks and mince pies are handed around.

Do not get me wrong… I am with you 100% and Christmas is one of my favourite times of year when chocolate coins and almond paste are on the top of my to do list! However, there are two major organs in the body that find this month of the year extremely confusing and upsetting. Our brain and our liver.

The brain turns into a pinball machine with all its pleasure and reward centres being pinged off regularly as we hand around the treats and sit down to laden tables. For the rest of the year most of us are moderate eaters with just the occasional blip, but at Christmas the restraints are off and our eyes and taste buds are in charge of proceedings.

This results in some pretty dramatic chemical changes in our brain that has a knock on effect on the glands of the body. The immune system is impacted which is why it is so easy to pick up a cold or the flu as we mingle with family and friends. As the sugar floods our bloodstream our blood sugar levels play havoc with our kidneys and our energy levels.

mince pies

The liver is in no position to help us out. Normally it happily removes toxins and waste from the body and releases stores that help with digestion and protect us. For the next few weeks it will be working overtime and it will not be able to do its job causing a build up of toxins in the cells of the body. This is not helped by all the antacids and over the counter painkillers that are knocked back in December and early January.

That is the bad news. The good news is that there are ways to support the body and the liver through the festive season. The first strategy is to use your usual common sense and know when you have had enough!! The second is to make sure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day to flush out toxins. The third is to eat light, fresh meals on the days that you are not indulging in heavy celebrations so that you give your body and major organs a break. Finally you can take a herbal remedy in the form of Milk Thistle to help support your liver as it works overtime in December.

As with in any complementary medicine, it is important not to assume that it is either safe to use or that it will cure your condition. In the case of herbal therapy there is a great deal of written and oral evidence, over centuries in some instances, that it is an effective and safe way to support the body and when appropriate can be used in conjunction with conventional medicine. In the case of milk thistle, trials have indicated that even at high doses there is little known toxicity.

Thistles are part of the daisy family, found mainly in Europe, Asia and Australia, especially dry and sunny areas. It can grew very quickly to over 10 feet and produces a milky white sap when the distinctive green and white leaves are crushed. It is a plant that takes over and smothers other growth so is not always welcome. It has been used medicinally for the last 2,000 years and it was highly regarded by the Romans. It has undergone extensive research and in some parts of Europe, like Germany, it is the most commonly used herbal therapy.

Scientific studies into the effects of the herb are mixed but do show some indications that taking Milk Thistle has positive benefits for the liver. It might also have some anti-cancer properties but this will take considerably more research to confirm. Traditionally, no self-respecting medicine man or woman would have been without the herb, especially for the treatment of poisonous mushrooms, including the Death Cap.

The liver has over 500 functions in its role as guardian of our health and it is vital it is kept working at an optimum level. If your liver is sluggish you may notice a few symptoms that indicate a need to look at your diet but also at ways to encourage the organ to function better. If you suffer from headaches at the side of your head that sometimes affects the eyes, or you feel nauseous after eating fatty foods, or find it difficult to get going in the morning you may be suffering from liver fatigue. In Victorian times grumpy old men and women were termed ‘liverish’ due to increased stress and irritation levels.

How does milk thistle work?

Milk thistle (Silybum Marianum) helps protect the liver and encourages it to regenerate. It protects against incoming toxins and also assists the liver to cleanse itself of alcohol, drugs, heavy metals, and poisons. It is also helpful in treating congestion of the kidneys and the spleen.

By stimulating the release of bile from the liver and the gall-bladder the whole digestive process is improved, which in turn ensures that any nutrients are absorbed more effectively. It also supports the liver in its role of purifying the blood, for this reason it has been used in support of treatment for psoriasis and other skin conditions.

Silymarin is the main component of milk thistle seeds and is a flavonoid containing 4 isomers – Silybinin, silychristin, silydianin and isosilybinin. Silymarin works directly with the cell membranes of the liver preventing damage and encouraging re-growth.

Research into the actions of this herb indicates that it helps reduce inflammation in hepatitis, soften the lesions caused by cirrhosis and helps detox livers that are cancerous. Anyone taking long term medication will also find that taking milk thistle (with the agreement of your doctor) may alleviate some of the side effects and help the liver process and eliminate the drugs more effectively.

How do you take milk thistle?

Milk thistle is an herb that is not soluble in water so you cannot make a tea from leaves, or extract. It is soluble in alcohol, which is why it is found in tincture form, and in capsules. One of the most effective ways to take it is as part of a complex where other herbs such as dandelion, artichoke and peppermint are included. These herbs are also very supportive of the liver – as artichoke helps reduce cholesterol and blood lipid levels; dandelion is a mild diuretic and laxative and has long been used to help with liver and gall bladder problems; and peppermint is a general aid to digestion and helps relax muscles.

Normally you would take 15 to 20 drops, twice a day in a little water, as an adult. It is one of the herbs that is not recommended for children. As a precaution, you should always ask a qualified herbalist before giving herbal medicines to children, or anyone pregnant. This also applies to patients who are HIV positive.

As with any herbal treatment it is a good idea to take a break from the therapy from time to time. If you have been taking it for three months, take a break for about six weeks before resuming. It is also a good idea to keep a diary of how you feel during treatment, as it will help you note improvements. Also, do not forget that herbs to not necessarily work overnight. They need time and it can take several weeks to notice appreciable differences in the way you feel.

Provided you have consulted your doctor there should be no problem taking milk thistle in conjunction with prescribed medication for hepatitis, gall-bladder disease and during recovery from alcoholism. One of the areas in which it may be very helpful is during chemotherapy, but in this instance it is extremely important that your medical team are consulted, as it will affect the potency of your treatment.

It is one of those herbal remedies that are useful to have around at Christmas time. As I have mentioned the liver takes a great deal of punishment at this time of year and apart from keeping hydrated and alternating alcohol drinks with water, I also suggest that you take Milk Thistle from now until after New Year. Then move to a gentle detox with the herb as part of a complex for the rest of January.

This of course does not mean you have a free licence – this poor herb can only do so much!

I am happy to answer any questions you have about health posts.. If it would benefit everyone then please leave in the comments section. Or you can contact me via sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Thanks for dropping by and love to have your feedback. thanks Sally

 

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Bill Withers – The Better Angels by Thom Hickey


So pleased to welcome Thom Hickey of The Immortal Jukebox with some of the posts from his archives. This week the story and music of Bill Withers, in particular the track Lean on Me. Thom explores the lyrics and their meaning to all of us who have no need to stand alone when there are people we can lean on to lend a hand.

Bill Withers – The Better Angels by Thom Hickey

‘A good man out of the treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things’ (Matthew)

‘Lean on me when you’re not strong and I’ll help you to carry on’ (BIll Withers)

Bill Withers stuttered painfully as a boy and young man which meant he didn’t say much. What he did do was listen carefully and thoughtfully to the people around him in his family and his community.

Bill was born and brought up in poor blue collar West Virginia mining communities where every day was a struggle with the constant background threat of injury and disaster.

In such communities loyalty, mutual reliance and co-operation were not painted storybook virtues but living realities. People worked with and for each other so that everyone’s burden would be a little lighter and thus more bearable.

Bill was and is a proud working man who knows the labourer is worthy of his hire and worth listening to.

After leaving home at 17 Bill spent 9 years in the US Navy where once again you learned that if you wanted your back covered you had to perform the same service for your comrade – buddy or not. Your life literally was often in your brother’s hands.

He also listened with intent and attention to the songs he heard in church and on the radio. His imagination became infused with the enduring restorative grace of gospel, the energising pulse of rhythm and blues and the sweet balm of soul music. Bill was storing wisdom and treasure in his heart and when the stuttering stopped his voice came through loud and clear.

Bill Withers would draw from a deep well of resources to write and perform songs that would always be fresh and relevant because they addressed fundamental questions about how our lives were and should be lived.

Which is to say that in many senses Bill Withers’ vocation combined that of a songwriter and singer with that of a preacher ministering to his community through the uplifting medium of music.

The prolific country songwriter Harlan Howard defined the essence of a great song as three chords and the truth and that’s exactly what Bill Withers offers us in his wonderfully vivid songbook.

Lean on Me is a simple song that tells an eternal truth. We all have pain, we all have sorrow: we all need someone to lean on. It opens with plain repeated piano stabs calling the listener to attention – listen up I got something to say!

The melody and rhythm echo the tradition of a gospel service: state your theme, tell your story through examples we can all recognise from our daily lives then call on the audience to respond. Invite your listeners to testify that the seemingly unbearable can be borne if you call out to your brother or if your sister calls out to you – ‘I’ll help you carry on’.

Show that we can all be the leaning post for our brother or sister in need .. ‘I’m just right up the road, I’ll share your load if you just call me.’ For, as long as the moon lasts we are all bound to stumble and fall in this life – it’s just a question of who falls when and how far and whether a helping hand and load bearing shoulder will be at hand to help you up and lead you on.

The foolishly proud always think they can stand up alone while the wise now that with help we can all make it through today’s troubles to tomorrow.

Lean on me acknowledges, indeed celebrates our weakness and vulnerability but also our strength. We are supplicants but we are also enablers, uplifters and restorers.

Yes, life will batter us and nobody walks in the sunshine all through their life but if we are honest, admit to our difficulties and failings and call for help we can be amazed that others are ready to come to our aid. Family, fraternity and faith in each other will get us through.

Of course, where a song is concerned having good intentions and a good moral to impart does not mean that the song will live. And, if a song does not live, get up and walk by itself on its own merits, then you won’t capture your audience, won’t get them to listen once – let alone sing along and punch that number on the jukebox. Lean on Me passes this test easily: it’s a wonderful up and walking living song!

First and foremost Bill Withers’ warm, supple and alluring voice commands your attention and wins your allegiance – you want to listen to what this man has to say. This is the voice of a strong, mature man with hard miles over rough ground on the clock.

Yet, it’s the voice of an optimistic man ready to roll up his sleeves and face unafraid whatever challenges the next day will bring. So, when Bill Withers sings you listen and when he calls out for you to respond you find that before you’ve realised it you’re singing : ‘We all need someone to lean on’

The song proceeds at a stately pace like a great powerful train allowing lolly gagging passengers plenty of time to get on board – confident they are in safe hands and will arrive at the right destination at the appointed time – the driver clearly knows what he’s doing.

As,’Lean on Me’ develops in come the most primal musical accompaniment of all – hand claps. These are organically perfect in context: a song addressing our common humanity using the, ‘instrument’ even the most musically illiterate can at least assay when enthused. On record Bill uses the hand clap as a propulsive encourager of the spirit of the song, ‘Come on! This way’.

In concert it is unimaginable that the bands hand claps aren’t swelled by all of those in the audience. By now everybody is on board the train and seeing themselves as one body – whatever seat they happen to be in.

As the song moves forward the strings come in to emphasise the swelling strength that acknowledged common vulnerability can unlock – ‘Call on me brother’ and we will get through, we will get through – together.

This is a song, without doubt as time has proven, an anthem, that proclaims our individuality and our community membership should not be warring forces but aspects of a natural, nurturing whole. That’s what Bill and, ‘Lean on Me’ are – nurture for our humanity.

The greatest ever political leader once put it this way a century or so before Bill, ‘We are not enemies but friends. We must not be enemies.’. That is how we will find the better angels of our nature.

Abraham Lincoln said that. Or to put it another way:

‘You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand

We all need someone to lean on.’

Bill Withers said that. I doubt that popular music has ever had a truer or more passionate guide to our better angels than Bill Withers.

Notes, Comments and further listening:

Lean on Me was written and produced by Bill Withers and recorded in 1972.

The musicians featured were James Gadson on drums, Ray Jackson on keyboards, Benorce Blackman on guitar and Melvin Dunlap on bass.

Lean on Me was a Number One record on both the R&B chart and the Hot 100 Billboard US charts.

Bill Wither’s catalogue is filled with powerful melodic songs and taut performances. His first two albums, ‘Just as I Am’ and ‘Still Bill’ are essential components of any record collection. Songs like the warm, witty and wise ‘Grandma’s Hands’ and the gloriously evocative and consoling, ‘Aint No Sunshine’ are undeniable classics.

‘Bill Withers at Carnegie Hall’ is among the very greatest live records with superlative singing and musicianship responding to an audience that is thrilled to celebrate in his company.

Sony have recently reissued the complete Bill Withers catalogue which is widely available at a ridiculously cheap price given the eternity shale it contains.

You can buy Bill Withers at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bill-Withers/e/B000AQ30ZQ

©ThomHickey 2014

About Thom Hickey

Thom Hickey one of the blessed 50s baby boomer generation, was born in London into an Irish family and formally educated at catholic schools and Cambridge University. More importantly he was informally educated by the BBC, The Observer, The New Statesman and The New Yorker. His music professors were radio giants Charlie Gillett, John Peel and Emperor Rosko. The print columns of Richard Williams, Ian MacDonald and Tony Russell were religiously read and annotated.

Further intensive study was conducted at the Hammersmith Odeon, the Hope and Anchor, the 100 Club, Ronnie Scott’s and the Rainbow. Many investment portfolios were foresworn in favour of sourcing recorded treasures from the hallowed halls of HMV, Colletts, Tower and Virgin Records and mail order outfits galore.

He has a continuing belief that you can never watch too many Westerns or Ken Burns documentaries, read enough biographies about Samuel Beckett or Buster Keaton and that there is always just one more Bob Dylan bootleg he needs.

To finance his obsessions he has worked in financial recruitment, as a charity campaigner and been a senior investigator into complaints about the NHS. He now lives deep in the Surrey woods with his beautiful wife, graceful daughter and inspirational son.

Connect to Thom

Blog: https://theimmortaljukebox.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thomhickey55

My thanks to Thom for sharing this background to Bill Withers and his thought provoking analysis of Lean on Me…one of my favourite tracks.

If you have some festive posts in your archives from Christmas Past.. why not pass them along to me for December – sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Just Read an Article on Addiction


And leaving you with a down to earth, no punches pulled post from a veteran of addiction, Andrew Joyce lays it out for us in bleak terms but with hope attached. He is 7 years clear of his addiction and is therefore fully qualified to talk about the subject. #recommended

Andrew Joyce

I just read your article and felt I had to respond. I hope that you don’t mind. And I do not expect a response. I just want to impart a bit of knowledge or maybe it might be called wisdom. I don’t know, you decide.

I was a junkie for thirty years—exactly thirty years. The only time I did not get high within that time-frame was the one time I shot some bad shit and lay in a coma for three days (I lived alone). I woke up and found that I had vomited upon myself and soiled myself (if you know what I mean). Then I went out and copped some more shit, but from a different source—hoping I wouldn’t kill myself. That is how much of a junkie I was. I got high every day for 10,950 days.

I do not know if you are ever going to…

View original post 861 more words

David Videcette: My Guest – former Counter Terrorist Detective turned Author: ‘I can’t tell you the truth, but I can tell you a story…’™


A fascinating interview with former Scotland Yard detective, David Videcette has worked on a wealth of infamous cases. With twenty years’ policing experience, including counter-terror operations and organised crime, David was a key investigator on the 7th July 2005 bombings in London. He is the holder of many police commendations including one for tracking down a 7/7 bomb factory. He is the author of The Theseus Paradox and just released the Detriment.. definitely two for the TBR. #recommended

Jane Risdon

I am thrilled to welcome author David Videcette to my blog this week –

Author – Media Commentator – Detective

I think you are in for a treat as we discover more about his career in Counter Terrorism and his writing.

You may well have seen him on TV and heard him on the Radio giving his expert opinion about a terror attack or organized crime,

and unluckily for some, possibly been one of those unfortunate enough to come eye-ball to eye-ball with him as he buys his groceries – whilst he recalls when, where, and why he arrested you in his former life…let’s hope not!

Find out more about David before we get down to my interview with him:

As a former Scotland Yard detective, David Videcette has worked on a wealth of infamous cases.  With twenty years’ policing experience, including counter-terror operations and organised crime, David was a…

View original post 2,201 more words

Smorgasbord Quiz Night – Trivia Lover’s Ultimate Reference – Questions by Debra Russell. Winner receives TWO #FREE Books


Welcome to week two of the quiz night with questions set by Debra Russell based on her book Trivia Lover’s Ultimate Reference.  I know that some of you were going to enter the quiz last week but got waylaid by work and life.. and also that you felt that it would be unethical to use online help.. so this week I am going to give you the answers to last week’s quiz and the set of questions for week two.

And as a bonus.. the permission to use Google and Wikipedia as your team members!

And we are also going to give you the links to a couple of sites that will help you answer this week’s questions guilt free.. don’t forget there is a FREE copy of Debra’s book for one winner each week.. and with Christmas coming up it will offer you the opportunity to test family and friends trivia knowledge.

Check out the book in full on: https://www.amazon.com/Debra-Russell/e/B07711TMF

And to add to the prize fund, the winner can also have the choice of one of these three books of mine in Eversion.. either mobi for Kindle of Epub for other devices.

Check out which one you might like to read:  http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Here are the questions from last week with the answers.

1. Name the dog that delivered life-saving medicine through a blizzard in Alaska in 1925? Balto
2. Where could you see a likeness of the pharaoh Khafra? Head of the Sphinx
3. In 1983 a Japanese artist copied the Mona Lisa in what material? Toast
4. What dance craze began in Rio de Janeiro in 1958? Bossa Nova
5. Which 18th century actor was a pupil of Dr Samuel Johnson? David Garrick
6. Which Australian actress opts for a lamb roast in an advert rather than a date with Tom Cruise? Naomi Watts
7. Who was the first ruler to introduce a tax on beards? Henry VIII
8. Which bean did the ancient Aztecs and Mayans use as currency? Cocoa
9. Which well-known British boxing manager and promoter revealed in 2014 that he is on his way to becoming a woman? Kellie Maloney
10. What famous American writer worked as an entertainer on a Swedish ocean liner before being drafted to serve in World War II? J. D. Salinger
11. Which famous singer worked at Dunkin Donuts in New York? Madonna
12. Which American city was named after a British prime minister? Pittsburgh
13. What USA city is also a slang name for a pineapple? Chicago
14. Which Australian city has a beach but no coast? Brisbane
15. What are link, single, French and convertible types of? Cuffs

Here are the questions to week Two and the majority of answers will be found on Google or Wikipedia…you can use them to confer with!

How to participate.

Once you have the answers to all the questions you need to send your answers to Debra by email  debgrussell54 (at)yahoo.com.au

Simply number your answers 1 to 15 and send to Debra in an email.

At the end of the week, Debra will put the names of those who have answered all questions correctly (or those who answer the most correctly) into a hat, and draw one name out.

The winner will be revealed in next week’s quiz night and will then be contacted to find out which Eversion you would prefer or Trivia Lovers Ultimate Reference and which one of my books you would like.

 Week 2 Competition Questions

1. The USSR described what American toy in the late 1950’s to early 1960’s as evidence of the decadence of American culture?
2. What is the largest library in the world?
3. What bizarre 1919 Boston accident involving molasses killed 21 people?
4. What took place on London’s Serpentine for the first time on 16 June, 1930?
5. What was 3 for a child, 6 for a woman and 9 for a man?
6. What links Da Vinci, Raphael, Phil Collins and Barack Obama?
7. Which Middle East country filters internet content by law?
8. In what European city can you be jailed for not killing furry caterpillars?
9. Who left his wife Penelope and son Telemachus behind in Ithaca and embarked on a ten-year voyage?
10. Who was poisoned and shot before their body was dumped in the Malaya Nevka River in 1916?
11. What can be saddle, plane or pivotal?
12. Walt Disney in an interview admitted he was scared of what?
13. The valves, gauges and fittings at the surface of an oil or gas well are known by what name?
14. The longest written plan of government is in what country?
15. What does moon mean?

Trivia Lovers Ultimate Reference: A Factual and Researched Guide to Knowledge.

About Trivia Lovers Ultimate Reference.

A thoroughly researched, contemporary trivia book containing thousands of questions and answers from a wide variety of subjects, a section of tips for learning, retaining and retrieving information and a section of lists on specific information such as capital cities, US Presidents and chemical symbols. The printed version has been formatted so the reader can cover the answers on the opposite side of the page to test their own knowledge.

Here are two early reviews for the books

“Trivia Lovers Ultimate Reference” is a well written and researched book and a must read for all Trivia Lovers. Full of researched facts that Trivia Lovers can go back to time and time again to ensure their knowledge is relevant and up to date. Love section 2 “Tips for learning, retaining and retrieving information”, this will be a great learning tool to help Trivia Lovers achieve the best they can.Helen Scott – Family Day Care Coordinator

“Trivia Lovers Ultimate Reference” is must read for all Trivia lovers who thirst for more factual knowledge. All questions and answers have been properly and thoroughly researched and are presented in an easy to read manner. The section titled “Tips for learning” will definitely help readers retain factual information and retrieve that information when needed. Great book Debra.Carleen Augustus -Teacher

Available now: https://www.amazon.com/Trivia-Lovers-Ultimate-Reference-Researched-ebook/dp/B075VQ2CZS

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trivia-Lovers-Ultimate-Reference-Researched-ebook/dp/B075VQ2CZS

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Debra-Russell/e/B07711TMF

Follow Debra on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17231585.Debra_Russell

About Debra Russell

Debra Russell lives in Queensland, Australia. She gained her Bachelor of Fine Art with honors at Griffith University in Brisbane and founded the Brisbane based arts organisation Impress Printmakers Studio Brisbane. Debra worked for many years as a professional artist and curated a number of high profile art exhibitions.

She has been writing poetry for her own enjoyment for over 20 years. Due to family commitments and her art career she has not been able to pursue her dream of becoming a writer up until the last 2 years. She has just published her first book Trivia Lovers Ultimate Reference in September 2017.

In the future Debra has plans to write fiction as well as a book on Urban Myths and their origins.

Debra is interested in a wide variety of topics including the environment, animal welfare, human rights and social justice to name a few.

Connect to Debra on her blog and social media.

WordPress: https://debrarussellblogsfromdownunder.wordpress.com/about/
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/debruss
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Debraru48883876
Google+: https://plus.google.com/114387255474815151742
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Trivia-Lovers-Ultimate-Reference-1336853349776807/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/debrarussellwriter/

Good luck and have fun… look forward announcing the winner next week. Please share the Quiz around and send your answers to Debra by email.. debgrussell54 (at)yahoo.com.au

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Back to the Fold by J. Hope Suis


Welcome to the second post in the series from J.Hope Suis. A post from November 2016 on the subject of Thanksgiving which of course is this Thursday. Is there someone missing from your dinner table this Thanksgiving who is out somewhere in the world and that you have become estranged from for some reason? Is there any chance that you might reconnect by reaching out to them? Perhaps you are the one not included in the family celebrations; could this be your chance to step back into the fold?

Back to the Fold by J. Hope Suis

I was 75% into a non-traditional, yet festive Thanksgiving Day blog when the words just stopped. It was light and frivolous and very likely to show up one day soon. But it didn’t fit my mood. Originally I wasn’t going to do one at all. People are busy today. Plus there is really nothing new under the sun about the holiday. We know the origins. We are all extremely grateful for our blessings. We live an abundant and wonderful life all things considered. But something kept nagging in the back of my brain. So I decided to just relax a minute and see what else came through my turkey and pumpkin pie haze. So for the next few minutes, without too much filter or editing, I’m going to just speak (aka type) from my heart.

Thanksgiving (and the holiday season in general) is about family. Friends. Gathering and Celebration. We all put on our best and fresh faces and garments. Pull the finest china and goblets from the back of the hutch. Light the candles. We look around at the happy faces and stuffed bellies and feel accomplished and satisfied. All of those things are wonderful. Meaningful. Excellent. But I dare say in many gatherings today, there will be someone missing from the fold. Someone, who at one time was welcomed at the table to share a slice of ham or cranberry sauce. So where are they today? Do we know? Do we want to know? Am I depressing you and ruining the holiday?

There are empty place settings around certain tables because of the ultimate loss. For those I am truly saddened and my sympathies are abundant. It has been several holidays now for me without my mom or my dad. There are those missing because of work or distance or other obligations. But those are not the ones I’m referring to. I am asking each of us to consider the proverbial lost sheep.

Individuals get disconnected from families for a variety of reasons. It can be a bad decision. They took a path that was not in line with the family values. They got lost in a place that seemed shiny on the outside but painful and dark on the inside. Maybe they want to escape but don’t know how. Maybe they chose partners or associates that made the family uncomfortable. Unfortunately biases and misconceptions exact a high price. The resulting toll quite damaging.

It could be because of hurt feelings. Something said last week or 20 years ago. Often words no one even remembers. How common is that? Feuds and angry feelings fester and are passed down and the original slight cannot even be recalled. Or maybe it can be recalled. Maybe it is heard in the back of your mind every day.

I do not have any real answers. I understand some transgressions are severe and cannot just be ‘forgotten’. Wise people choose to leave a bad situation because it is the healthiest thing for them. Those decisions I applaud and encourage. It takes a brave soul to rebuild and heal yourself. At times doing it all alone.

However occasionally it is just plain stubbornness that keeps us apart. The unwillingness to forgive or ask for forgiveness. Squaring off at a virtual line with each party just waiting for the other one to flinch. Is it really that monumental and earth shattering? Is it worth years of separation and fracture?

Here is my suggestion. If at any point in reading this someone crossed your mind then stop a minute to consider them. Is there a path to reconnect? Today could be the perfect opportunity to reach out with a phone call or text. Say Hello. Say I Love You. Say I’m Sorry. Say I Forgive You. Say something…. Who knows, maybe they were there holding their phone wanting to do the same thing.

And if you are the one alone today or feel estranged, please know this. There are times when standing alone is the hardest yet greatest gift you can give yourself. Find friends and like-minded individuals who can and will support you. But if you have left the family fold and regret it and want back in…. Take action. It is never too late. Again, be brave. Stir up the courage to be humble enough to admit a mistake. Let today be a fresh start.

Please, please do not let these few words put a damper on your festivities. Maybe they were just meant for me. Maybe there is someone missing from my table. Maybe I am the preacher AND the choir. But if just one person reading this reaches out to a loved one today… then for THAT I will be truly THANKFUL.

Hope Out And HAPPY THANKSGIVING

©J. Hope Suis 2016

My thanks to Hope for this inspiring post for Thanksgiving and I am sure she would love to receive your feedback.

About J. Hope Suis

J. Hope Suis is an inspirational writer and relationship expert with over 20 years of experience in single-parenting, dating, relationships, with a phrase she coined as “Solitary Refinement”, which is simply a season of being single to grow and develop as an individual. Her new book, Mid-Life Joyride, is a light-hearted yet meaningful collection of stories, advice and encouragement from her experiences.

Her passion in life is Hope Boulevard, which is a blog and website focused on uplifting and challenging her readers to live their best life now. She is a strong advocate for mid-life issues and committed to the idea of sharing ‘hope’. In addition to her blog, she also wrote a weekly newspaper column entitled; “A Single Thought”. J. Hope currently writes for divorcemag.com, divorcedmoms.com, has a platform on onmogul.com and has been cited in national magazines including the Chicago Tribune and Reader’s Digest. She believes it is never too late to pursue a dream or achieve a goal and always encourages her followers to Hope With Abandon.

J. Hope Suis celebrated her brand new release published on 24th October…Mid-Life Joyride: Love in the Single Lane by J. Hope Suis

About the Book

Mid-Life Joyride is the ultimate user’s manual for mid-life relationships. Being single in mid-life is not usually where many SIMs (Single In Mid-Life) expected to wind up. In Mid-Life Joyride, J. Hope Suis takes SIMs on an incredible and often humorous journey from how they ended up here (widowed, divorced, or never married) to learning to love again. With a lighthearted yet meaningful collection of stories, advice, and encouragement from both personal and anecdotal experiences, she provides insightful navigational tools for every SIM including:

* Entering the dating cyber highway, creating your profile, and recognizing red flags
* Dating etiquette as a SIM (who now pays for the date and what not to wear.)
* Developing and maintaining new relationships and when to walk away
* Learning and discovering how to love yourself FIRST
* Sexcapades of today’s boomers

Mid-Life Joyride is a manual for SIMs as they discover (and own) their current situation and explore the possibility of new roads to travel and paths to pursue. With a personal RPS – Relationship Positioning System – Suis guides hearts towards personal happiness in a relationship whether it be a long term-term monogamous commitment, marriage or even being content staying single. Buckle up and laugh your way through an adventure to being the best version of YOU.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Mid-Life Joyride is a great book for navigating the single life. It is well written with attention to detail and easy to understand. It is very insightful for both genders if they really want a successful, committed relationship. Such great advice on navigating all of the issues in dating and relationships and I love the references to the road. I think guys will enjoy that too.

While the book is mainly about dating and relationships, the author also touches on the most important relationship we all have, and that is our relationship with ourselves. Learning to love and take care of ourselves, following our dreams, maintaining our friendships, and forcing us out of our comfort zones to genuinely appreciate everyday of our lives. This is provided in such an upbeat and positive way that you can’t help reaching the end of the book and saying YES, I can do that, I can BE that, and just an overall good feeling about life. A must read for anyone living the single life, you won’t want it to end !!!

Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Mid-Life-Joyride-Love-Single-Lane/dp/0999479903

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mid-Life-Joyride-Love-Single-Lane/dp/0999479903

Connect to J.Hope Suis

Website: www.hopeboulevard.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hopeblvd
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHopeBoulevard/

If you would like to share some of your festive archive posts for December from when you began blogging, then please send one or two links to sally.cronin@moyhill.com.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – For those who think I have it all together by Allie Potts


Welcome to the last in the series of posts from the archives of Allie Potts. This post is for all mums and dads out there juggling full time jobs, school pick ups and making Leprechaun outfits for St. Patrick’s Day.. and a tribute to grandmas..

For those who think I have it all together by Allie Potts

Inspired by judith Viorst’s  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

My boss came into my office. “I am going to throw a curve ball at you,” he said, shutting the door.

Just like that, I could tell that it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

“Kay has turned in her notice.”

Kay is one of my peers. This announcement meant there was a better than average chance a portion of her work would find its way to me, at least temporarily, while the position was refilled. I looked at my mug. “I am going to have to start spiking my coffee,” I replied while I considered moving to Australia.

My boss laughed but didn’t disagree.

Yep, I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Five o’clock rolled around, ending an office day filled with sympathetic looks and panicked responses (many of which were mine). I raced out the door. My husband, Lamont, was out-of-town the rest of the week (a trip I hadn’t known about until the afternoon before), therefore it fell on me to pick up our children from their various locations. All I had to do was get there on time.

I hit traffic.

Much later than I’d planned, I waited for Kiddo to pull his shoes on and collect his book bag. He, however, was more interested in showing me bits of small paper. “I’ve made a card,” he advised. “For the Leprechaun. Do you think he will come tonight?”

I silenced my inner groan along with several other choice words I won’t print here. The next day was St. Patrick’s Day, and I had nothing prepared. No Leprechaun traps. No pots ready to be filled with gold. Nothing. When exactly had leprechauns coming to your house on St Patty’s Day become a thing anyway?

I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

When we got to the house, Kiddo made a bee-line to the television, ready to consume his daily allowance of cartoons. Her Royal Highness, our dog, made an equally determined path to the front door, ready to take care of her own daily requirements. I looked to Kiddo. I looked to Her Royal Highness. Taking her outside would give me an opportunity to send a message to my mom regarding a certain Leprechaun. “I’ll be right back,” I called. The cartoon’s theme song was already playing as I closed the door.

Mom replied back within short order, not for me to worry, however, Her Royal Highness had not yet done what we’d come out to let her do. Just then a cat appeared, and not just any cat – it was the cat. The cat that is either the bravest or stupidest animal I’ve ever seen. Whatever the reason, this cat not only is not afraid of dogs, it actively seeks them out. Spotting Her Royal Highness, it immediately crossed the road, causing a car to come full stop and angry looks shot my way.

Her Royal Highness passed her cat test before we brought her home, but still, I don’t like to tempt fate, nor do I wish to be responsible for an injury of someone else’s pet. Seeing no other choice, I led Her Royal Highness away. The cat followed. Only when we rounded a corner did the cat give up its pursuit. If I wasn’t an animal lover who doesn’t condone this line of thinking, I might hope you step on a tack, cat.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

That’s what it was because when we returned inside, the house was empty. Guess whose kid decided, in those short few minutes, that he missed me more than he wanted to watch his cartoons and had run off in the opposite direction with his brother while Her Royal Highness was being chased by a cat around the corner?

If what I’d felt during the work day was panic, the myriad of swirling emotions I experienced in that moment has yet to be named. I wondered if invisible fencing for children is allowed in Australia.

I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, I texted my mom (or roughly something like that). I didn’t look at my phone to see if she answered.

While I was scolding/hugging my children for giving me a fright, Mom showed up on my front porch with a frozen mix of Korean noodles in hand. It was a wonderful gesture, but. . . they proved to be utterly inedible. Even Her Royal Highness turned it down.

Kiddo, wanting to show off for his Nana, took twice as long to do his homework than he usually does and LT, well LT was his normal self, but if I allowed LT access to the phone, he probably would have called Australia.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Lamont didn’t promptly return my texts, and I hate that.

Exhausted after the kids went to bed, I couldn’t motivate myself to work on my WIP and I hate a lost opportunity.

When I finally did hear from Lamont it was clear he’d been having fun while I was not. I still hadn’t figured out what to do about the Leprechaun outside of mom’s vague assurances that all would be well and calling into work sick the next day wasn’t an option.

It had been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

My mom says some days are like that, even for people who might seem to have it all together.

I guess it’s a good thing for me then, that my mom lives nearby and not in Australia.

Love you, Mom, and thanks.

©Allie Potts

©Allie Potts 2016

About Allie Potts

Allie Potts, born in Rochester Minnesota was moved to North Carolina at a very early age by parents eager to escape to a more forgiving climate. She has since continued to call North Carolina home, settling in 1998 in Raleigh, halfway between the mountains and the sea.

When not finding ways to squeeze in 72 hours into a 24 day or chasing after children determined to turn her hair gray before its time, Allie enjoys stories of all kinds. Her favorites, whether they are novels, film, or simply shared aloud with friends, are usually accompanied with a glass of wine or cup of coffee in hand.

Books by Allie Potts

One of the reviews for The Fair & Foul

Compelling Sci-Fi  b on September 23, 2016

I’m such a groupie for books involving any kind of genetic manipulation – the scientific aspects fascinate me. If you read the description above, you can see why this one grabbed my attention.

In this novel, there are characters seeking scientific and technical advancements for the right reasons, and those who are only looking out for themselves – which provide some compelling and interesting conflicts. As a woman, Juliane deals with her share of struggles and roadblocks, but her determination to succeed in her field is admirable. The author does a wonderful job of making the reader feel as frustrated and confused as Juliane over certain plot developments. The supporting characters are varying degrees of likable and loathsome and although I was convinced I knew who was trustworthy and who had ulterior motives, I was proven wrong. It’s nice when that happens.

Juliane is a strong, ambitious woman, so it’s disappointing when an attractive guy shows up and she seems to lose focus – but I’m not a fan of romance novels, so that’s a personal preference on my part. At times, the dialogue is somewhat stilted, and the addition of contractions would make conversations sound more natural.

The ending just blew me away and is a perfect launching pad for book two in this series. If you’re a fan of though-provoking sci-fi, this is your book.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Allie-Potts/e/B00H2VUFUA

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Allie-Potts/e/B00H2VUFUA

Read more reviews and follow Allie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7366449.Allie_Potts

Coming on December 5th 2017.

Connect to Allie via her blog and social media.

Blog: http://www.alliepottswrites.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/alliepottswrite
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/allie.potts.79
Google +https://plus.google.com/116292341272843093815

My thanks to Allie for sharing this and I hope you will head over and explore her blog and her books. I am now looking for posts for the run up to the festive season at the end of the year so delve into your archives and check to see if you have one or two posts that might be suitable. Email me on sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Infographic: The Road to Success – 30 Habits, Qualities and Secrets


Nicholas Rossis with an infographic for 30 habits, qualities and secrets for the road to success.. makes for interesting reading and I think I need to tick a few more boxes. I certainly cannot disagree with any of them. #recommended

Nicholas C. Rossis

You may remember Jack Milgram of Custom Writing from his Infographic, 28 Boring Words and What to Use Instead. He has now shared with us his latest creation: The Road to Success – 30 Habits, Qualities and Secrets.

Infographic: the road to success | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book

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